Last spring, we got two male kittens. Some point during July, I (with the kids in tow, of course) had to take them to the vets for shots, etc, and to find out when they can be neutered. I had prepped the kids that the kittens would be having surgery so they cannot become dads. On the way to the vet, Sophia told Jake that they were having surgery so they can't have babies.
Jake, being precise as always, had to correct her that they cannot have babies because they are boys. Sophia agreed and said, "Well, they are having an operation so they can't become dads."
After a momentary pause, Jake asked, "Mom, what part helps them become dads?"
Ok, quick thinking here. What do I say? If I mention penis, Sophia will say penis to everyone she meets, everywhere. Ok, think quick. How can I say it so Jake gets it, but she doesn't?
"Umm, their franks and beans."
Silence from the back. Crisis averted, kudos to me.
The silence was processing time. Jake again, "How exactly does that work?"
Hell, no. I am NOT having this discussion with an 8 1/2 year old and a 4 year old, holding two kittens while driving 5 minutes to the vet.
"I don't really want to talk about that now. Sophia is too young."
Jake: "Is it disgusting?"
Me: "No, Sophia's just too young to talk about it right now."
Sophia: "Will you tell us when we're 16?"
Excellent solution. Let's put it off for eight more years. Crisis averted. Innocence maintained. Phew.
For about two months...
While finishing up dinner (the kids were slowly finishing their meals, I had already moved onto ice cream and Pat had slunk out to watch Cramer), I was again attacked. Why does this only seem to happen to me?
Sophia has just finished Day One of Kindergarten. She, apparently, has decided that since she is all grown up now, we need more babies in the house. While on vacation this summer, she bombarded me relentlessly with the question, "Did you have an operation so you can't have any more babies?" I thought I dodged the bullet and never really answered her. Here she is, a month later, bringing it up again.
Never say never (because I don't want to jinx myself here), but we're done with having kids. The youngest is in kindergarten. They're getting self-sufficient. Sometimes, we can even sleep through the night. But more importantly, and I told the kids this, that when Sophia was born, I felt like our family was complete. And it's not because we have a boy and a girl. We have two kids--we can still play man-to-man defense. I admit that I am limited. I don't think I'm cut out to parent via zone defense. Our kids are healthy and I appreciate that--so much can go wrong that I get nervous about the idea of chancing it again.
So I tell the kids about how I felt our family was complete the first time I held both of them in my arms. I really did. I also tell them that if we had a baby, they wouldn't be able to have drum lessons and dance lessons and trips to Disney World, because we'd have to pay for and take care of the baby and I wouldn't be able to work as much.
Sophia moved onto barraging her father with questions and riding her horse "Sexy" around. (Need you ask why she is the youngest?) Again, crisis averted.
Jake, God love him, was still pondering the conundrum, came up with a suggestion. (For those of you not aware, Jake, in addition to a near photographic memory, has some significant pragmatic speech difficulties. That means he has a tremendous vocabulary, but the way he puts words together is sometimes difficult to understand. I end up translating for him a lot.) He says, "I have a solution that can solve both your problems (meaning Sophia's want of a younger sister, and my not wanting to have another baby). You know the teacher Mr. Floyd?" I nodded. Jake continued, "He works for a place that rents kids. You know, for like a week or a month, or just a little while. You could rent a kid from him."
That took me a minute to figure out. "You mean foster care?" He nodded. He then told me of a schoolmate whose parents had had foster kids. Ok, good for them. I told him that I was sure that there were kids out there who needed good homes, and that maybe Pat and I would consider it in the future, but it was not right for us right now. I told him that with caring for him and his sister, working and taking care of the house, I was full-up and could not take much more on.
"Well, you could just read 50 Shades of Grey and get pregnant."